Event project managers are responsible for the planning and execution of events. They work with clients to determine their needs and then create a plan to meet them. The job requires a high level of coordination and communication, so interviewers will expect you to be able to verbalise your skills and experience effectively in an interview setting.
They will often ask about your experience coordinating events and your ability to communicate with clients. They may also ask about your problem-solving skills and how you handle stress.
Answering these questions effectively can help you land the job. If you're preparing for an interview, the best thing you can do is be prepared by anticipating the questions you could be asked. In this guide, we'll explore some of the most common questions and how to answer them for success.
What are interviewers looking for in an events project manager?
They want to know that you have the organisational skills to plan and execute successful events. They also want to see that you have a good understanding of the events industry and can think on your feet. Events can be a high-pressure environment, so it's important that you demonstrate that you respond well to high-pressure situations.
Questions can be divided into different categories, these include:
Behavioural Questions – this type of question helps them to learn more about how you would respond and act in common situations.
Communication Questions – similar to behavioural questions, but focused solely on how you would communicate specific things.
Opinion Questions – this type of question aims to understand your view of the world and whether or not you can give a real answer, or just what you think the interviewer wants to hear.
Performance-Based Questions – this type of question asks for you to shape specific times when you have had to deal with common issues and scenarios.
Brainteasers – these are designed to get you thinking on your feet and there is typically no right or wrong answer.
Now that we understand the types of questions you might face, here are some questions you may be asked in an interview for an events project manager role, along with tips on how to answer them:
1. Tell me about a time when you had to manage a complex event.
This is a performance-based question that is designed to find out a few things. First, they want to know more about your experience in event management. Second, they want to know what you consider most challenging about event management. And third, they want to know how you have managed this challenge in the past.
2. What do you think are the most important skills for an event project manager?
This is an opinion question that is designed to understand your view of the role and what you consider most important. It's also a chance for you to show off your knowledge of the role. You could say: "The skills that I believe are most important for an event project manager are communication and organisation." You can then elaborate on why these skills are so essential and how you have used them in the past.
3. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult client.
This is another performance-based question that aims to find out more about how you handle difficult situations. They want to know if you're able to stay calm under pressure and still provide excellent customer service. It's also a chance for you to demonstrate your problem-solving skills.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing the industry at the moment?
This is another opinion question that will require you to have a good understanding of the event management industry. It allows you to show commercial awareness and an understanding of the wider pressures facing event management professionals.
5. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a last-minute change.
This is another performance-based question that aims to find out how you handle unexpected changes. This is a common occurrence in event management, so it's important that you're able to adapt and still deliver a successful event.
When you face a question like this, you should answer using the STAR method. This stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Answering in this format will enable you to be thorough in your approach and ensure you don't miss anything.
Here's an example of how you could answer this question using the STAR method: "I was recently organising an event for a client and we had to make a last-minute change to the venue. The original venue had been double-booked and we only found out the day before the event. I quickly contacted another venue of a similar size and managed to secure a last-minute booking. As soon as we secured the venue, we updated the attendees about the change of location using email and SMS."
6. Tell me about a time when you had to go above and beyond to deliver an event.
This is another performance-based question that allows you to showcase your dedication to your work. This could be a time when you had to work long hours or solve a difficult problem. It's also a chance for you to show that you're a team player and you're willing to step up and cover whatever needs to be done in order for an event to come together.
As an event project manager, you might be able to demonstrate your ability to delegate key tasks while also ensuring that the event runs smoothly.
7. What do you think sets our company apart from other event management companies?
This is a company-specific question that allows you to show off your knowledge of the organisation. It's also an opportunity to highlight what you believe are the key strengths of the company.
This could include things like the company's portfolio of clients or any work that stands out to you. This is a bit of a curveball question and it helps to differentiate between the individuals that are looking for a job anywhere and the individuals that want to work with that specific company.